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A hand grabs cheeses from Roscioli’s cheese case.
A view of the cheese counter at Roscioli.
Gary He

The Best Restaurants in Soho Right Now

A tourist favorite, NYC’s Soho has a number of great restaurants to rival its retailers and art galleries

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A view of the cheese counter at Roscioli.
| Gary He

Before it was the art, shopping, and loft-apartment district it is today, Soho was largely industrial and commercial, filled with the cast-iron architecture of the city’s Victorian era. By the 1960s and ’70s, it had become rundown, and the stage was set for artists to move in and establish studios in its distinctive buildings. Galleries and boutiques followed, and finally big-box stores along Broadway, attracting droves of shoppers.

Now few artist’s lofts remain, but there are dozens upon dozens of restaurants, many of them excellent, and some surprisingly inexpensive. Though the borders of the neighborhood are fuzzy, for the purposes of this map it extends between Lafayette Street and Sixth Avenue on the east and west, and Houston and Canal streets on the north and south.

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Jerrell's Betr Brgr

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You can’t miss it flying uptown in a car or cab up Sixth Avenue — a long shallow carryout space with a few outdoor tables (brrrr in winter) just across the street from the traditional boundary of Soho. The fare is some damn good vegan burgers, with all the usual gloppy toppings, including “cheese” and “bacon.” The place serves waffle fries, and the chili sans carne is also worth getting, especially in the colder months.

On a yellow background, a cup of chili and a burger with a bun.
Chili and a burger at Jerrell’s.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Lupe's East L.A. Kitchen

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A refuge of Los Angeles expats, Lupe’s offers the typical menu of that city’s Mexican-American cuisine in a brightly colored setting full of chrome and Formica. The burritos are an obvious choice, but the bill of fare also presents options such as potato-filled taquitos and steaming bowls of chile colorado and chile verde. Strong cocktails are available, too, at this place that never ceases to be hip.

three rolled tacos filled with potato with rice and beans on the side
Potato taquitos at Lupe’s East L.A. Kitchen.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Soho Diner

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This is a fanciful recreation of a diner with today’s eclectic food tastes with higher prices than a run-of-the-mill diner. Breakfasts excel with huevos rancheros and buttermilk pancakes, while lunch and dinner selections include a chicken pot pie, and a Buffalo-style beef on weck sandwich on a caraway-seeded roll slathered with horseradish sauce that few places in town attempt, unusual enough to merit a visit on its own.

A pie in a pot with a big puffy pastry on top.
Chicken pot pie at Soho Diner.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Ba'al Cafe & Falafel

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This sleeper in the southwest corner of Soho, now a decade old, specializes in falafel that’s freshly fried. But it also offers all sorts of other chicken and vegetable sandwiches and pita pizzas. For this rather expensive neighborhood, the prices are a steal, but there’s not much seating, so head to one of the nearby parks along Sixth Avenue.

A narrow storefront with a dark red awning advertising falafel and a partially bald person going in.
Ba’al Cafe’s storefront on Sullivan Street.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Flipper's

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The specialty of this Japanese import are thick spongy soufflé pancakes, served with fresh fruit. There are many other all-day breakfast and brunch options, too, including sandwiches served with good fries, boba teas, entree salads, and fried chicken with waffles. The upstairs dining room provides good views of this bustling Soho corner.

Three thick pancakes covered with powdered sugar and assorted fruit.
Souffle pancakes at Flipper’s.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This handsome, low-key restaurant descended from London’s famed River Cafe, and the menu reflects a mix of Italian and French cuisine — with some Brit sensibilities thrown in. A meal should begin with a plate of panisse (chickpea fritters shaped like french fries) decorated with brittle toasted sage leaves, before progressing to an entree such as pork chop with borlotti beans, Hudson Valley trout with English peas, or hanger steak chargrilled over thyme branches with wax beans, lentils, and basil aioli. The menu changes often and the wine list is one of Soho’s best.

A red lobster split open and heaped with greenery.
Lobster with watercress and beans is one of King’s signature entrees.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Pi Bakerie

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This branch of the mighty Artopolis, one of Astoria’s best Greek bakeries before it closed, persists in a sunny Broome Street location with tables in front that are a great place to grab an espresso and a hand pie like spanakopita or galaktoboureko. Step inside the antique-filled interior and inspect the collection of cookies, pastries, casseroles, and salads, then assemble a choice selection for one of Soho’s most pleasing and relaxed lunches. There’s also a Fidi location.

A brightly lit casserole brown on top in a round vessel.
Moussaka at Pi Bakerie.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Piccola Cucina Estiatorio

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On a quiet, darkened street in the southwestern section of Soho lies Piccola Cucina Estiatorio, part of a small international chain that specializes in Sicilian food, and seafood in particular, sometimes with a Greek flair. The grilled sardines are spectacular, and there’s a fine seafood misto served with lemon and aioli that makes a shareable appetizer. Don’t miss the miniature rice balls, attributed to restaurateur Philip Guardione’s hometown of Catania. Pastas are another strong point, along with a new wine list favoring Sicilian vintages.

A fish with colorful swatches of raw fish positioned on its sides.
Three kinds of fish crudo as served at Piccola Cucina Estiatorio.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Dominique Ansel Bakery

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Yes, people still line up early in the morning to get a Cronut in one of Soho’s great spectacles, but there are plenty of other pastries of an unusual sort. And there are sandwiches, too, made on predictably great bread from a shifting roster that includes a toasted cheese and a Dijon chicken salad dotted with pistachios. Croissants with a variety of stuffings also available.

A store with a yellow awning and people sitting at tables in front.
Dominque Ansel Bakery is a Soho classic.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Alidoro

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This tiny sandwich shop dating to 1986 was one of the first in town to offer real Italian panini rendered on quality bread and deploying imported cold cuts and cheeses. The menu is appropriately inscrutable — it’s not the kind of place you wander in and request a roast beef on rye with Russian dressing. Instead, be prepared to study the detailed sandwich list, offering names like Pinocchio, Michelangelo, and Fellini. A favorite is the Fiorello, stacked with mortadella, fresh mozzarella, and eggplant caponata.

A small white storefront with a single table in front, and two people sitting at it.
Alidoro’s storefront on Sullivan Street.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Chef Ayesha Nurdjaja creates flavorful, colorful dishes that meld Tunisian, Moroccan, and Italian influences at this Eastern Mediterranean restaurant. Her brunch menu is a Soho favorite (opt for the shakshuka or the lamb burger), while the dinner menu focuses on dips, mezze, and kebabs. Large groups are accommodated with a fixed-price feast. The space is lovely, with ample windows in both the street-facing room and the greenhouse-like back area.

A white table full of salad, spreads, pita, and skewered meat
A spread of mezze, salads, and skewers at Shuka.
Shuka

Roscioli NYC

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The buzzy Italian import from Rome features an upstairs casual a la carte alimentari and a downstairs tasting menu spot; if you’re in the neighborhood it’s worth checking out whether they’re doing wine tastings in the cellar, an interesting cavern that points to the building’s past (very few buildings on the street have maintained the room that used to give residents access to waterways). Everything is Italian, of course, with options to purchase and take home.

A cavernous wine room with a big table.
The wine room at Roscioli.
Gary He/Eater NY

Order a perfect bowl of udon and tea for under $40 including tax and tip at this neighborhood Japanese noodle restaurant, part of Cloud Nine Hospitality Group. The menu of also includes variations on hot and cold noodles, vegetables, gyoza, and donburi.

Raku serves perfect noodles like this one.
A bowl of udon at Raku.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Famous Ben's Pizza

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Since 1977, when this corner of Thompson and Spring was still largely Italian and Portuguese, Ben’s has been slinging pizza, many of them channeling snack shops back in Sicily. The array displayed behind the glass sneeze guard is impressive, but go for any of the thick, square slices, which is what Ben’s does best. The sweet Palermo slice is heaped with olive-oiled bread crumbs and caramelized onions, reflecting the style of snacking in Sicily’s capital.

A corner of a square pie with crumbs on top and sprigs of flat leaf parsley.
Palermo slice at Famous Ben’s Pizza.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Hamburger America

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This newly opened joint looks rather fancy from the outside, but inside is pure lunch counter, via hamburger scholar George Motz. Sit on a Formica stool at the L-shaped counter and enjoy some carefully researched burgers, egg creams, french fries, egg salad sandwiches, pie, and cookies. For the little kids, there are PBJs; for their parents, beer. This is a fun spot for the whole family.

A lunch counter with yellow stools, and patrons sitting with their backs toward us.
Sit at Hamburger America’s lunch counter, or grab a table upstairs.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

The Dutch

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This Andrew Carmellini spot serves vaguely Southern comfort food, on a menu filled with wild cards: kimchi fried rice flanking a hanger steak, and black sea bass with crispy rice. Try the excellent fried chicken, served in a stainless-steel wok with honey butter biscuits and coleslaw, available for lunch, brunch, or dinner. There’s also a house burger, and an oyster and raw bar selection served in an oyster room, that’s also on the main menu. The clubby corner space is done up in dark wood, with a handful of comfy round booths.

Fried chicken, slaw, and small biscuits served in a metal bowl.
Fried chicken at the Dutch.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Raoul's

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The draw at this longtime French bistro is the burger, even though it’s only available semi-secretly in limited supply at the bar. But now it’s been added to the regular brunch menu, comprised of a peppercorn-crusted brisket blend, seared in butter, topped with creamy Saint-Andre cheese, watercress, onions, and cornichons, and served on a challah bun with duck-fat fries and cream-and-cognac sauce. Beyond the burger, opt for bistro classics like escargot, pate, endive with lardons and a poached egg, or steak tartare.

Raoul’s burger with oozing cheese
Only a limited amount of burgers are served at Raoul’s.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

Omen Azen

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From its founding in 1981, when it was one of a very few restaurants in Soho, Omen Azen became a hang for celebrities and artists. The list included Yoko Ono, Richard Gere, Patti Smith, and Bill T. Jones, who became regulars for the simple and elegant Japanese food. The sashimi platters have become legendary in this walk-up dining room with a jazz soundtrack, but noodles, hot pots, and tempura are also good choices.

A white plate with 10 or so sashimi selections, including tuna, uni, and mackerel.
Sashimi selection at Omen Azen.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Brigadeiro Bakery

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A Brazilian bakery and snack shop, Brigadeiro specializes in the eponymous buttery chocolate balls, along with two dozen other globular pastries in the same vein, including lemon, dulce de leche, strawberry, and pecan pie. Pao de queijo (the delicious and bouncy tapioca-flour cheese bread) and other savory snacks are on sale. Brigadeiro also functions as a neighborhood coffee bar.

A bunch of yellowish balls in a cardboard box.
Brazilian pao de queijo from Brigadeiro.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Le Coucou

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This unabashedly luxurious French spot, in a massive, chandelier-filled space within the posh 11 Howard Hotel, serves all sorts of old-school French classics in digs that feel decidedly sexy, not stuffy. Restaurateur Stephen Starr and chef Daniel Rose, the latter of whom came from Paris’ acclaimed Spring, serve up starters that include whole lobsters, foie gras terrine, and beef tartare topped with caviar, followed by entrees such as sole Veronique and an entire rabbit. Don’t skip dessert.

A spread of dishes on plates and metal trays at Le Coucou.
A spread of classic French dishes at Le Coucou.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

Sadelle's

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Bagels, lox, and a schmear get theatrically updated at Major Food Group’s very expensive take on an un-kosher Jewish appetizing restaurant. Seed-crusted bagels are stacked tall on wooden dowels for the dramatically plated spreads of salmon, sable, sturgeon, and whitefish salad. There’s an entire caviar section, available with scrambled eggs, latkes, lobster Benedict, or as a supplement to any dish. Other options include sticky buns or egg scrambles and sandwiches incorporating smoked salmon and salami.

On three separate plates, sliced fish, vegetables, and a bagel with cream cheese served in a separate metal cup.
Sturgeon and other accoutrements with bagels at Sadelle’s.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Fanelli Cafe

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The quintessential Soho saloon opened in 1847, and a visit to Fanelli’s is to step back in time; no place in Soho evokes the 19th century and the area’s cast-iron era more effectively. The bar food is predictable, running to burgers, shepherd’s pie, and chili con carne served with grated cheddar and sour cream. Isolated in its own pool of light, Fanelli’s burnished its image as a late-evening destination during the pandemic.

A bowl of red chili with cheese and sour cream.
Chili con carne at Fanelli’s Cafe.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Lan Larb Chiang Mai

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Once an Isan restaurant with roots in Hell’s Kitchen, Lan Larb switched a couple of years back to being one of the few Thai restaurants representing the food of the country’s far-north Chiang Mai region, where noodles are king. Noodle dishes incorporate mung bean thread, wheat noodles, and rice noodles, and the signature dish is the soup with two kinds of noodles called khao soi.

Clear bean noodles with eggplant and other vegetables.
Gaeng hoh at Lan Larb.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Lure Fishbar

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This award winning, semi-subterranean restaurant in the northwest corner of Soho is decorated like the hold of a ship. On weekend afternoons and early evening, it attracts families and students with their parents, but come midevening, the place fills up with a glittering crowd, who relish the seafood focus, unusual sushi, shellfish towers, and Chinese dumpling, via chef Preston Clark.

A man in a white chef’s coat stands in a kitchen, seasoning a fish in a frying pan.
Chef Preston Clark at Lure Fishbar.
Clay Williams/Eater NY

Balthazar

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This over 25-year-old Keith McNally spot is an NYC institution that reimagined what a French brasserie could look, feel, and taste like stateside. Hugely influential for New York dining, Balthazar serves up a great meal at all hours (8 a.m. till midnight most days) in a lively space lined with massive distressed mirrors, dark woods, and red banquettes. From breakfasts that may include eggs Benedict or croissants, to dinners featuring seafood plateaux or steak frites, Balthazar is a New York restaurant icon.

Slab of pate, cornichons, baby lettuces, and stewed prune.
Country pate at Balthazar.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

BoCaphe

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The neighborhood is full of coffee bars and French bistros, but why not go for a coffee at this Vietnamese cafe? The menu is top-notch, too, including some engaging breakfast and luncheon fare, running to a breakfast banh mi, eggs Benedict with a steamed bao instead of English muffin, avocado toast, and a fundamental crisp baguette with good butter.

A clear glass mug with coffee dripping into it from a metal contraption on top.
Vietnamese coffee at BoCaphe.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Jerrell's Betr Brgr

You can’t miss it flying uptown in a car or cab up Sixth Avenue — a long shallow carryout space with a few outdoor tables (brrrr in winter) just across the street from the traditional boundary of Soho. The fare is some damn good vegan burgers, with all the usual gloppy toppings, including “cheese” and “bacon.” The place serves waffle fries, and the chili sans carne is also worth getting, especially in the colder months.

On a yellow background, a cup of chili and a burger with a bun.
Chili and a burger at Jerrell’s.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Lupe's East L.A. Kitchen

A refuge of Los Angeles expats, Lupe’s offers the typical menu of that city’s Mexican-American cuisine in a brightly colored setting full of chrome and Formica. The burritos are an obvious choice, but the bill of fare also presents options such as potato-filled taquitos and steaming bowls of chile colorado and chile verde. Strong cocktails are available, too, at this place that never ceases to be hip.

three rolled tacos filled with potato with rice and beans on the side
Potato taquitos at Lupe’s East L.A. Kitchen.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Soho Diner

This is a fanciful recreation of a diner with today’s eclectic food tastes with higher prices than a run-of-the-mill diner. Breakfasts excel with huevos rancheros and buttermilk pancakes, while lunch and dinner selections include a chicken pot pie, and a Buffalo-style beef on weck sandwich on a caraway-seeded roll slathered with horseradish sauce that few places in town attempt, unusual enough to merit a visit on its own.

A pie in a pot with a big puffy pastry on top.
Chicken pot pie at Soho Diner.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Ba'al Cafe & Falafel

This sleeper in the southwest corner of Soho, now a decade old, specializes in falafel that’s freshly fried. But it also offers all sorts of other chicken and vegetable sandwiches and pita pizzas. For this rather expensive neighborhood, the prices are a steal, but there’s not much seating, so head to one of the nearby parks along Sixth Avenue.

A narrow storefront with a dark red awning advertising falafel and a partially bald person going in.
Ba’al Cafe’s storefront on Sullivan Street.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Flipper's

The specialty of this Japanese import are thick spongy soufflé pancakes, served with fresh fruit. There are many other all-day breakfast and brunch options, too, including sandwiches served with good fries, boba teas, entree salads, and fried chicken with waffles. The upstairs dining room provides good views of this bustling Soho corner.

Three thick pancakes covered with powdered sugar and assorted fruit.
Souffle pancakes at Flipper’s.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

King

This handsome, low-key restaurant descended from London’s famed River Cafe, and the menu reflects a mix of Italian and French cuisine — with some Brit sensibilities thrown in. A meal should begin with a plate of panisse (chickpea fritters shaped like french fries) decorated with brittle toasted sage leaves, before progressing to an entree such as pork chop with borlotti beans, Hudson Valley trout with English peas, or hanger steak chargrilled over thyme branches with wax beans, lentils, and basil aioli. The menu changes often and the wine list is one of Soho’s best.

A red lobster split open and heaped with greenery.
Lobster with watercress and beans is one of King’s signature entrees.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Pi Bakerie

This branch of the mighty Artopolis, one of Astoria’s best Greek bakeries before it closed, persists in a sunny Broome Street location with tables in front that are a great place to grab an espresso and a hand pie like spanakopita or galaktoboureko. Step inside the antique-filled interior and inspect the collection of cookies, pastries, casseroles, and salads, then assemble a choice selection for one of Soho’s most pleasing and relaxed lunches. There’s also a Fidi location.

A brightly lit casserole brown on top in a round vessel.
Moussaka at Pi Bakerie.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Piccola Cucina Estiatorio

On a quiet, darkened street in the southwestern section of Soho lies Piccola Cucina Estiatorio, part of a small international chain that specializes in Sicilian food, and seafood in particular, sometimes with a Greek flair. The grilled sardines are spectacular, and there’s a fine seafood misto served with lemon and aioli that makes a shareable appetizer. Don’t miss the miniature rice balls, attributed to restaurateur Philip Guardione’s hometown of Catania. Pastas are another strong point, along with a new wine list favoring Sicilian vintages.

A fish with colorful swatches of raw fish positioned on its sides.
Three kinds of fish crudo as served at Piccola Cucina Estiatorio.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Dominique Ansel Bakery

Yes, people still line up early in the morning to get a Cronut in one of Soho’s great spectacles, but there are plenty of other pastries of an unusual sort. And there are sandwiches, too, made on predictably great bread from a shifting roster that includes a toasted cheese and a Dijon chicken salad dotted with pistachios. Croissants with a variety of stuffings also available.

A store with a yellow awning and people sitting at tables in front.
Dominque Ansel Bakery is a Soho classic.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Alidoro

This tiny sandwich shop dating to 1986 was one of the first in town to offer real Italian panini rendered on quality bread and deploying imported cold cuts and cheeses. The menu is appropriately inscrutable — it’s not the kind of place you wander in and request a roast beef on rye with Russian dressing. Instead, be prepared to study the detailed sandwich list, offering names like Pinocchio, Michelangelo, and Fellini. A favorite is the Fiorello, stacked with mortadella, fresh mozzarella, and eggplant caponata.

A small white storefront with a single table in front, and two people sitting at it.
Alidoro’s storefront on Sullivan Street.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Shuka

Chef Ayesha Nurdjaja creates flavorful, colorful dishes that meld Tunisian, Moroccan, and Italian influences at this Eastern Mediterranean restaurant. Her brunch menu is a Soho favorite (opt for the shakshuka or the lamb burger), while the dinner menu focuses on dips, mezze, and kebabs. Large groups are accommodated with a fixed-price feast. The space is lovely, with ample windows in both the street-facing room and the greenhouse-like back area.

A white table full of salad, spreads, pita, and skewered meat
A spread of mezze, salads, and skewers at Shuka.
Shuka

Roscioli NYC

The buzzy Italian import from Rome features an upstairs casual a la carte alimentari and a downstairs tasting menu spot; if you’re in the neighborhood it’s worth checking out whether they’re doing wine tastings in the cellar, an interesting cavern that points to the building’s past (very few buildings on the street have maintained the room that used to give residents access to waterways). Everything is Italian, of course, with options to purchase and take home.